Aphorisms Galore!


Peter Wastholm  ·  www.wastholm.com  ·  user since 2004

Most Recent Submissions by peter

tiny.ag/bkgmuzfy  ·   Unrated  ·  submitted Jan '22 by peter (updated 15:20)

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

Smedley Butler, from a speech delivered in 1933, in War and Peace

tiny.ag/pipgvzvf  ·   Fair (59 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.

Kenneth Boulding, in Wealth and Poverty

tiny.ag/wfkpsrpx  ·   Fair (57 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.

Niels Bohr, in Science and Religion

tiny.ag/mgrteolp  ·   Fair (258 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Robert J. Hanlon, in Altruism and Cynicism and Vice and Virtue

tiny.ag/yo9sehi5  ·   Fair (69 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the
man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee, in Work and Recreation and Wisdom and Ignorance

tiny.ag/k0emebpg  ·   Fair (75 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

Neil Postman, in Wisdom and Ignorance and Law and Politics

tiny.ag/q9h2hw7e  ·   Fair (77 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

Some people say I'm afraid of conflicts. I disagree but don't dare contradict them.

Peter Wastholm, in Wisdom and Ignorance

tiny.ag/0csjlftm  ·   Fair (70 ratings)  ·  submitted 2011 by peter

Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in Success and Failure

tiny.ag/g3vhom0x  ·   Fair (79 ratings)  ·  submitted 2010 by peter

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!', but 'That's funny...'

Isaac Asimov, in Science and Religion and Success and Failure

Most Recent Comments by peter

Tiny links to aphorisms  ·  posted 2020 by Peter Wastholm

Every aphorism now has a short link that looks something like this:


That last bit is just a short random sequence of numbers and letters that identifies a single aphorism. Not very memorable, perhaps, but at least short and share-friendly. Feel free to use them in social media, print them on T-shirts, tattoo them on your forearm, or whatever else you want.

Aphorisms Galore! Is 20 Years Old Today!  ·  posted 2017 by Peter Wastholm

Aphorisms Galore! celebrates its first twenty years by launching a few improvements:

  • A new and more mobile-friendly layout with fewer images so pages load faster.
  • All web traffic is now encrypted (i.e., HTTPS instead of plain HTTP). This improves your privacy and security on the Internet. Thanks to Letsencrypt for making this possible by providing free automatically renewed SSL/TLS certificates!
  • All network ads have been removed. This too improves your privacy and security since these ads try to track your online behavior and since these ad networks are sometimes used as a vector for malware. Over the years, I have run banner ads from various networks -- Doubleclick, Fastclick, Valueclick, Google, and others. While they have provided me with many an interesting learning experience, I feel these ads have now outlived their usefulness, especially since what revenue they have yielded has been small and shrinking. In the future, I may run sponsor ads -- i.e., ads from companies paying me directly to advertise specifically on my site. Or I may not. We'll see how that goes.
  • Google Analytics code has been removed, again to improve your online privacy. While I'm sure the data they provide is useful to many site owners, I find myself not using it a lot and therefore can't justify subjecting my visitors to the tracking that Google does across all sites that use its analytics service. I'll probably add some sort of local analytics software instead, like Piwik.

As an experiment, I will also add a cryptocurrency tip jar where users and visitors can throw me a virtual coin if they want to show appreciation for the site and encourage its continued development.

Finally, if you haven't had enough of my ramblings, you...

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Ideologies Considered Harmful  ·  posted 2011 by Peter Wastholm

Beware the man of one book. -- St. Thomas Aquinas

Ideologies can be a great thing. They can provide us with consistent belief systems. They can help us make decisions in line with our moral convictions. In a way, they can simplify our lives.

Ideologies can be a terrible thing. They can cause us to get stuck in dogmatic thinking. They can make us blind to other perspectives than our own. They can encourage us to oppress those we disagree with, or even to go to war.

In 1931, an Austrian mathematician named Kurt Gödel proved that, in layman's terms (I am not a mathematician myself), any nontrivial logical system cannot be both consistent and complete -- in other words, it must either have a contradiction built into it somewhere, or there must exist cases that the system doesn't cover. Sure, he was talking about mathematics, but still: it's an interesting point to consider when encountering systems (such as ideologies) that claim to be both consistent (free of contradictions) and complete (applicable everywhere). Actually, I contend that all ideologies contain fundamental assumptions about the world that are dubious at best, or downright false at worst.

If you're reading this, chances are you are living in a country that largely subscribes to the ideology called capitalism (though some people think this term sounds scary somehow and choose to call their systems "market economies" or even "free markets" instead). As we know, capitalism posits that the state should stay away from commerce, and that it should be consumers' preferences that dictate what goods and services should get produced, and how much they should cost, the idea being that this should result in the most efficient use of resources. That's great, except it seems to assume that w...

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